June 12, 2016

My Favorite Healthy Go To Recipes

I'm always looking for people's tried and true, go-to recipes because sometimes I feel like I've been cooking too much of the same meals. So here's a list for you of some of my go-to healthy recipes. I've done a post like this in the past, so some of these may be repeated.

1. SkinnyTaste Zucchini Lasagna


Pros:
  • High protein (30-36 g per serving depending on your serving size. She lists hers as 8 servings, I list mine as 10)
  • BOMB leftover
  • Husband and kid friendly (I made this for my 5 year old niece and she loved it)
  • No pasta/refined carbs
  • A great way to get in veggies (tomatoes, onion, garlic, and zucchini)
Cons:
  • Semi time-consuming and a little messy. That being said, I'm a slow and a messy cook so it might just be me. But if it is, don't tell me. 
Tips:
  • DO NOT use skim/low fat anything. ever. Gina from SkinnyTaste is my all time favorite recipe blogger, however she still hasn't jumped on the "We actually can eat healthy fats" train. I substitute her "low fat/skim" instructions with regular full fat dairy. If you haven't jumped on the fat train either, you better read up, son. "When you see the words 'low fat' or 'fat free' think of the words 'chemical crap storm.'" Just quoting here, people. 


2. Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps


Pros:
  • High protein
  • Quick and easy
  • Great as a leftover

Cons:
  • May not be as popular with kiddos since it has an Asian flavor. In which case I would tell your 3-year-old to stop being so racist. 
  • A little messy to eat (aka not a good first date food, aka who cooks asian lettuce wraps for a first date? aka "aka" doesn't even work the second or third time I used it in this paragraph but it just flowed.)
  • Hoisin sauce (found in the Asian foods aisle) is high in sugar
Tips:
  • Cut out the rice for a lower carb meal (I typically do this and the flavor is still great)
  • Look for a hoisin without corn syrup
  • Add chopped up peanuts for a delicious crunch
  • Don't eat on the first date
3. Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs



Pros:
  • High protein (obviously. it's chicken)
  • Quick and easy recipe, minus having to put those suckers on the skewers in which case I would hire a neighborhood child to do the work. jk don't do that. 
  • So good that you'll want to make them ALL THE TIME
Cons:
  • Your husband will get sick of them because you make them ALL THE TIME
  • Tips: Double or triple the marinade and freeze it for later use
  • Don't leave out the onion because it's delicious
  • This recipe says you can use milk or greek yogurt but I've only tried it with greek yogurt. 

4. Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup



Pros:
  • Slower cooker=very little work and dishes
  • The coconut flavor is life
  • It also has peanut butter, which is more life than coconut
  • Contains vegetables including onion, peas, cilantro, and bell pepper
  • Contains ginger which has an impressive list of health benefits including aiding in digestion, reducing inflammation, and helps with nausea (including morning sickness) and a lot of common sicknesses. I also want to note that the first time I used ginger, I didn't know what it looked like so I had to google it. This is legitimately what popped up. And yes, I did screenshot and save this picture from years ago because that's hilarious.
Cons:
  • Another asian flavored dish so it's not loved by everyone
Tips:
  • Use homemade coconut milk (super quick and easy and delicious!) to avoid preservatives, sweeteners, and BPA. If you're not into that sort of thing, then check the ingredients to make sure there's no added sugar and try to avoid one with any preservatives (ideally the ingredients section should only list coconut milk).
  • Use brown instead of white rice
5. Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken



Pros
  • This recipe sort of makes me want to cry it's so good. Seriously. It's SO good.
  • Hidden veggies disguised as noodles and covered in peanut sauce for the picky one
Cons:
  • Not a super quick meal unless you prep some things ahead of time (I would make the chicken marinade and the sauce the night before to really speed it up)
  • Contains rice noodles which have a high glycemic index and wouldn't be my first choice, but you win some you lose some
Tips:
  • Don't skip the peanuts. So good
  • This recipe calls for "better'n peanut butter" but I just use my regular old Smart Balance Peanut Butter (or any other PB you use. No hydrogenated oils though!!)
  • I do only use about half the amount of noodles the recipe calls for
  • Make sure you cook the broccoli slaw and carrots so that they're tender. 
  • Try not to eat it all in one sitting because it's that good. 

6. Breakfast Burrito Bowl with Spiced Butternut Squash


Pros:
  • Quick and easy morning meal with healthy carbs, healthy fats, and protein
  • Such a good and unique flavor to change up your breakfast
Cons:
  • Litereally zero. 
Tips:
  • Make the butternut squash ahead of time (the night before) so that all you have to do is heat it up, cook the egg, and add the toppings
  • Add 2 eggs for more protein and healthy fats, or 1 egg and some egg whites
  • Costco sells precut and prepackaged organic butternut squash which makes this recipe even easier
7. Chicken Tikka Masala


Pros:
  • Quick and easy recipe
  • Contains different flavors than your typical dinner
  • Naan is delicious but I've actually never made it. Let me know if you try it!
Cons:
  • It's 10:15 PM and I'm running out energy so can we skip this since I can't think of anything?
Tips:
  • Make the marinade ahead of time, make extra, and freeze it for later use
  • Add extra coconut milk to the top after it's done. So good
  • This is on the spicier side so if you don't like spicy foods then go sit at the kids table. Just kidding but don't try this one if you're not a spicy food person.


That's all I've got tonight. Almost half of these recipes are from the blog SkinnyTaste which is one of my favorites and a great go-to. ( Just remember to sub out the fat free/low fat for full fat in her recipes).

Enjoy!
-Natasha